Finishing the cockpit surround.

June 3rd, 2012

This weekend is a long one so I have a lots of time for car things.  I spent most of yesterday finishing the cockpit surround then most of today tweaking it. I made up the right hand side the same way I did the left.I finally got rid of the bar down the middle of the cockpit too which makes things look so much better.

IMG_2307_1 Making offside rear curves.

I got it all done then stopped for the evening but just as I did I noticed that the front right corner wasn’t quite right. The corner was a little down right in the middle of the bend. I use the sticks to make sure things are aligned but it’s still easy to go wrong. You can see the ends of the curves line up (where the sticks were), it’s just the bit in the middle.

IMG_2313_1 Corner not right.

That was the first thing I fixed this morning. I cut out that corner and bent another piece of steel to fit.

IMG_2314_1 IMG_2315_1 Fixing front corner.

I also looked at the tail which was maybe a little fat at the base. I removed the rear cardboard and also removed the wooden floor from inside the tail as I don’t need that for support any longer.

IMG_2320_1 IMG_2321_1 Adjusting the tail.

I removed the bar tying the two ends of the bottom frame rails together. I also removed the flat bar off the bottom of the U shaped hoop. That was originally set so that the base was 1 inch wider than the top. I tweaked it in half an inch. And then I tack welded the two ends of the bottom rails together after bending them in slightly. With that done I re-cardboarded the car and rolled her outside.

Thins were looking better but several things stood out as wrong that I wanted to adjust. The cockpit side cut-out on the driver side was a bit flat. I used green tape to add a better line. So I rolled her back in and fixed that by cutting out a section, bending yet more tube and welding it back in.

IMG_2319_1 Tape line.

That was only about an inch or so difference but it matters. Outside I noticed something else that didn’t seem right. The front of the cockpit on the passengers side was more or less a straight line. I decided it would be better with a slight curve in it. Again I used tape to mark a better curve. This time the difference was only about half an inch.

IMG_2336_1 Front line.

Again I cut out a section and made up a new piece to fit with the better curve on it. I also had to adjust the very end of the drivers side piece so the curves would match up. To do that I used my gas welding gear to heat the end of the tube red hot then I bent it with a steel rod inserted into the end of the tube used as a lever. I did manage to scorch my cardboard instrument panel somewhat.

IMG_2337_1 IMG_2345_1 Front tube.

I used sticks again to ensure everything was still straight and at the right levels.

IMG_2229_1 IMG_2344_1 Sticks to ensure levels.

This shows the difference in the two pieces. It’s very slight but makes a big difference to how the car looks.

IMG_2340_1 Tube differences.

So with that done I rolled it outside again to see how it looks.

IMG_2351_1 IMG_2352_1

IMG_2358_1 IMG_2360_1

The cockpit front looks much better with just a tiny bit of curve on it.

IMG_2354_1 IMG_2362_1


IMG_2365_1 IMG_2366_1 Narrow body.

The body is very narrow. It sits within the insides of the tyres which you can see looking down the car.

The tail looks better I think a little narrower at the bottom. Not so fat in the bum. I did initially try it with the bottom of the tail the same width as the top but that looked a bit odd. The sides looked too vertical.

IMG_2350_1 Narrower tail.


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